I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not a typo—it’s French. A French film, actually, and one of the most delightful movies I’ve seen in a while. Totally worth reading subtitles for.
First, a little Q&A:
Is this a nice, wholesome film? Not as such.
Is it suitable for family viewing? It’s rated R, so that really depends on your family.
Is there bad language? Yes, but it’s in French so it sounds really pretty.
Is it a funny, heartwarming, uplifting, charming story of an unlikely friendship? Absolutely.
Based on a true story, The Intouchables is about Philippe, a wealthy, Parisian quadriplegic who hires Driss, a young man from the projects, to be his personal assistant. And by personal assistant, we’re talking bathing, feeding, dressing, hauling around, and some extremely delicate procedures involving latex gloves. Driss has no training, but he’s willing to do mostly anything (though the gloves do give him pause).
Philippe, who can move only his head, has been coddled by his family and retinue of servants who can’t see past his handicap. Driss, on the other hand, sees the man inside the wheelchair and treats Francois accordingly. As their relationship progresses, the role of mentor switches from one man to the other.
François Cluzet does a stellar job as Philippe—it must have been exceptionally difficult to portray someone who can’t move from the neck down. Omar Sy is just as good as Driss, the cocky, tough-on-the-outside-with-a-squishy-center dude whose bravura doesn’t quite hide his insecurity.
So, gentle viewer, there’s a lot of talk about sex, some cussing, mild drug use (pot), and a small amount of violence, but in my view the beauty of the story overcomes all those obstacles. One might think a story about a paraplegic would be grim, but I found it frequently hilarious. I think you’d like it, I really do. I did.
Disclaimer: I did attend a free screening of the film but was not obligated in any way to post a positive review in return.